July/August 1997, p.15

Commuter of the Month: Stephanie Wright

Occupation: Legal Secretary
Commute: From 116th St. and Morningside Ave. to 42nd St. and 5th Ave.
Route: Through Central Park, down 7th Ave. and across on 44th St.
Bike: Fuji 10-speed hybrid. It has fat tires.
Gear: Troxel helmet. Rear rack, bungy cords. I carry gloves for when the chain pops off, but if anything serious happens, I just go to the nearest bike shop. Fortunately, there are many of them.
How long commuting: 4 years. I got started when I wasn't working. Economically, it made sense. I love riding now. It's far superior to riding in the subway. I can take care of all my errands without having to get on and off the train. I pretty much ride everywhere I have to go if I am not too pressed for time, or have too much to carry.
Attire: I have mastered the art of riding in a dress. A couple of times my dress got caught in my brakes and I ended up with a disaster. Once I had to wash grease off my hem and walked around the office with a huge wet spot on my dress. Now, I pin up any excess material. The more you do it, the better you become. I only get dressed once-I'm usually late as it is the first time I get dressed. As far as all those fancy biking clothes go...Nooooo. I don't need to spend that kind of money to ride. I have to look corporate and normal, and I try not to draw undue attention to myself. Sometimes I'm more wrinkled than I'd like to be, but it's a tradeoff. 
Weather: I ride all the time, except in pouring rain or excessive cold (below 15 degrees). I have gotten drenched on a few occasions. I recently broke down and bought a pair of rain pants.
Response from co-workers: I always hang the "Commuter-of-the-Month" on my bulletin board. Everyone in the office asks, "Oh, when are they gonna do one on you?
Memorable experiences: On two occasions not long after I first started riding, a driver tried to run me off the road. I even fell once, but another biker stopped and said he saw the whole thing. You just have to be aware that there's that mentality out there. I've been doored a couple of times too.
Best commute: Through Central Park in the springtime. Oh, it's fabulous. The park is showing off in the springtime. Everything is out-it's incredible. Or, in the winter after a snow, it's beautiful. Advice: If you want to ride to work, do it. When I started riding I had a real fear. But once you get out there, you see that there's an order and you master the order. You get your feel for doing the streets, and you become better and better at it. You can do this in Manhattan! It's hectic and there's traffic, but bikes are accepted. Where my sister lives (a small city in Georgia) there is literally no sidewalk, and not even a lot of people walking. It's THAT transportation-unfriendly.
Lock: Quadrachain. I've lost every piece of bike you can imagine. One was stolen, one fell apart at 57th St., and once my seat was stolen. Parking: I usually park on the street, but sometimes I forget my lock and I leave it in the messenger center of the building. That's more of a hassle, though.
Misc: Cabbies always seem to think they own the universe. In my experience, foreign ones are more mysoginistic. They think you have no right to be a biker and on the street as a female.
Compliments received while riding: "Oh wow, you're good! I thought you were way back there."

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